• Bangladesh!

    Bangladesh: Traditional houses. Go Now!

    This low-lying country has historic ties to India and Pakistan, but today maintains a wholly unique culture. Explore Bangladesh!

  • Indonesia!

    Indonesia: Lombok. Go Now!

    This archipelago nation is culturally diverse from big cities to isolated islands. Begin Your Journey!

  • Jordan!

    Jordan: Petra. Go Now!

    Tucked away in this Middle Eastern country, the famed city of Petra (pictured) links the past to the present culture. Explore Jordan!

  • Mongolia!

    Mongolia: Desert. Go Now!

    This vast country has a culture that spans past and present... a nomadic life shifting to a modern & sedentary society. Begin Your Journey!

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    Kyrgyzstan: Tian Shan Mountains. Go Now!

    The mountains, including the Tian Shan Mountains (pictured), give Kyrgyzstan a unique culture, partially formed from this isolation from the mountains. Go Now!

Architecture of Jordan

Much of Jordan is desert so few people lived in the region outside the northwest section, which is quite hospitable. Due to this, there are few architectural monuments of note in the country. However, due to trading routes through the desert, a number of cities developed to house these travelers, one of which has become a world wonder.

Jordanian Architecture - Treasury in Petra
Petra's Treasury

In about the 100s BC (the actual date is unknown; this is a commonly accepted estimate) the Nabatean people built the city of Petra in southern Jordan. This city is literally built into the rock walls as facades were dug out and internal housing and structures were created inside the rock. There is truly nothing like this and it has no architectural style attached to it due to its isolation and uniqueness.

Shortly after this the Romans took the region and created some impressive monuments. Some of the ruins at Petra were built by the Romans and are very distinct as little remains other than a few columns. A much greater achievement by the Romans are the ruins at Jerash in northern Jordan. This Roman city is one of the most intact in the world and has some very impressive amphitheaters and roads. The Romans also created the city of Philadelphia (modern day Amman), however most of these ruins no longer exist. The most notable of the remains is the city's theater.

Jordanian Architecture - The Roman city of Jerash

Sadly, few architectural changes took place since the Romans left the region. In the 500s and 600s the Muslims arrived and brought in their architecture, and in the 1500s the Ottoman Turks arrived with theirs. Unfortunately, the region always fell on the periphery of their ruling kingdoms and so received almost no architecture other than simple structures, few of which have lasted to the present.

In the 1800s and 1900s the region began to grow and develop, leading to more architecture, but again few pieces of any significance. Today most of the country's buildings were built or renovated in these latter years of the Ottomans and the capital of Amman is in this style, which is much more functional than it is aesthetically pleasing.

Also in the 1900s and into the 2000s, Jordan has received modern buildings, which are much easier to build due to the materials and machines created by the Industrial Revolution, including concrete, steel, and cranes. There are numerous modern buildings in the country, most particularly in the capital city of Amman, although very few skyscrapers exist in the country.

This page was last updated: March, 2013